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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Google sued for deceptive Android location tracking by 3 US state governments

Google has now been sued in the US for ‘deceptive’ collection of location data on Android devices.

The attorneys general of three states and the District of Columbia have sued the tech giant, alleging that Google pushed Android users with “repeated nudging, misleading pressure tactics, and evasive and deceptive descriptions” to share more information either “inadvertently or out of frustration.”

“Google falsely led consumers to believe that changing their account and device settings would allow customers to protect their privacy and control what personal data the company could access,” DC Attorney General Karl Racine said in a statement.

“The truth is that contrary to Google’s representations it continues to systematically surveil customers and profit from customer data,” Racine added.

The lawsuit builds on a 2020 complaint filed by the Arizona Attorney General over location data collection, reports The Verge.

The fresh lawsuit claims that Google’s settings “purport to give consumers control over the location data that Google collects and uses. But Google’s misleading, ambiguous, and incomplete descriptions of these settings all but guarantee that consumers will not understand when their location is collected and retained by Google or for what purposes.”

In a statement, Google said: “The attorneys general are bringing a case based on inaccurate claims and outdated assertions about our settings”.

Meanwhile, Google has moved to court against an antitrust lawsuit in the US that alleged Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg were involved in a secret ad collusion plot.

Led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the lawsuit which was filed last week alleged that Zuckerberg and Pichai “personally approved a secret deal that gave the social network a leg up in the search giant’s online advertising auctions”.

Google said that the allegation that we somehow “colluded” with Facebook Audience Network (FAN) through our Open Bidding agreement is “simply not true”.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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